Songs, Fingerplays, Grouptime Information

Africa has in excess of 50 countries.  Many different languages are spoke in these countries. The continent consists of three basic ecosystems.  The grasslands or savanna makes up 2/5 of the land.  It is land of low bushes and grasses, watering holes and animals.  The men hunt, fish, herd cattle, and build homes.  The women are the cooks, care for the children,  and weave cloth and others crafts.  Agriculture is done by the women.  Products grow in a grassland are coffee, cocoa, peanuts, cotton, sugar, bananas, tea and fruit. Animals found in the savanna are elephants, rhinos, wildebeest, giraffe, zebra, buffalo, antelope, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, jackal, falcon, and ostrich to name a few.  In the cities and towns of the savanna, there are jobs, schools, factories, and offices.

Many African people live in homes made from mud and roofs of bamboo covered with palm leaves.

In West Africa, people wear clothes like us and live in apartments.

The Sahara Desert holds 2/5 of the land mass.  It is sand, rocks, wind and dust.  It has little or no vegetation..  The animals found in the desert are many including  camels, small rodents, insects, reptiles, and gazelles. The people of the desert are called nomads.  They live in simple skin tents with little wooden furniture and grass mats.  They need to keep life simple because they are always moving and must pack their belongings on camels.  They wear hooded cloaks, baggy pants, turbans, and slippers to be protected from the harsh climate.

The Rain forest or jungle is only 1/5 of Africa’s land. Here is found large tress, much vegetation, much rain, and animals.  Among their animals, are the gorilla, chimps, flamingo, snakes, hippo, crocodile, and lizard.  People live in villages in mud homes.  Transportation is mainly by foot or bike on paths from village to village.

Map of Africa —> HERE

Rainforest…
I’ve been working in the rainforest, All among the trees.
I’ve been working in the rainforest, Where I saw the bats and bees.
Parrots, butterflies and toucans, Monkeys and hummingbirds galore, Frogs and snakes and spotted leopards on the rainforest floor! I’ve been working in the rainforest, All among the green.

I’ve been working in the rainforest, Where the plant life must be seen! Ferns and mosses and lianas, Orchids and honeysuckle, too. Oh, how special is the rainforest,
A magic place come true!

Ha – Ha  Hippo…
Baa Baa Black Sheep
Ha-Ha hippo, have you any hair?
Hurrah, hurrah, you have hair.
Hair for my horses & hair for my hog,
And hair for my “H”, Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha! Ha-Ha hippo, have you any hair?
Hurrah, hurrah, you have hair. (For hair can substitute: Hats, hammer, or houses)

ART PROJECTS

Tire Rubbings Snake…
Using a piece of white paper have the children use a crayon to rub an imprint of a tire.  After the children have the imprint have them cut out a shape of a snake from the rubbing.

Tie Snakes…
Take one of dad’s old/ugly ties- the busier the print the better.  Cut open on of the ends, and fill 2/3’s all the way will poly fill (that pillow stuff). then, insert either a hanger you have made straight or a length of medium-light gauge wire.

Fill the rest of the way, and sew/glue/web-iron the tie closed again.  The wire or hanger seems pretty important to giving the body some shape and letting you give it that “s” shape, but I guess you could skip that part if you had to.

Now, add googly eyes and the long tongue with the “v” shape at the end, and you have a rain forest anaconda! young ones should be able to most of the project!

Alligator Puppet…
Draw and cut out the eyes, nose and the upper section of the alligator’s mouth from construction paper.  Glue them to the bottom of the paper bag.  Draw and cut out the inside of the mouth and the two front feet from paper.  Glue them to the front of the bag.  Attach a tail to the back of the bag.  Place your hand inside the bag and curve your fingers over the fold to move the puppet.

Zany Zebras…
Give each child a construction paper picture of a zebra with no stripes, mane, or tail.  Use a fine brush or Q-tip & have them make stripes with black tempera paint.  When paint dries, glue strips of fluorescent paper on neck & tail.  Have the kids fringe paper.

African Mask…
Use the pattern locate here.  Copy the African mask to heavy card stock. Have the children color the mask and attach yarn pieces to create a wearable mask.

CENTERS

Animal Puzzles…
Search for African animal  pictures and backgrounds out of magazines.  Cut them out and laminate them for durability.  Cut up each picture into a puzzle.  Challenge the children to put them back together.

Measuring Rice…
Place measuring cups and bowls along with rice in the sensory table, have the children measure rice to find out how many scoops fill each container.

Playdough Animals…
Allow the children to create African animals out of playdough.

Sorting Animals…
Again find pictures of animals in magazines.  This time find animals with spots, stripes and different colors. Have the children see how many different ways they can sort them into groups.

Water Play…
Using hippos in the water table allow the children to free play.

Easel Painting…
Provide several shades of green paint (lighten & darken shades by adding white or a little black paint to the green).  As a variation, you could add a scent (mint extract?).

African Flag Matching…
Use the printable patterns located here to make a matching game.

BOOKS

Rain School
Thomas, a young child in the African country of Chad, eagerly anticipates his first day of school. When he arrives at the schoolyard, Thomas is surprised to
see a teacher but no building and no desks. He discovers that before the reading
instruction can begin, he needs to help make mud bricks, build walls, and thatch a roof. When the school term ends nine months later, Thomas has learned a great deal. That knowledge will stay with him, even though not much will remain of the mud building once the rainy season has passed its course.


A Walk in the Rainforest
A Walk in the Rain Forest is a wonderful introduction to the tropical rain forest- its plants, animals, and people. The book tells the story of XYZ- a small ant- and his journey through the rainforest. The beautiful pictures and simple text appeals to children of all ages. Additional factual information appeals to older children. This is a great book to use in the classroom to help introduce children to the wonders of the rain forest


The Hatseller And The Monkeys
Everyone familiar with the popular story, Caps for Sale, will immediately recognize this authentic African tale. Readers will love the mischievous monkeys that steal the peddler’s caps. And they will laugh at the monkeys’ funny antics as the peddler outsmarts them and gets his caps back.


Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears is an African folktale which offers a great lesson to be learned by children. The story is about a mosquito who tells a lie to an iguana and annoys the iguana. This sets off a series of events that affects everyone who lives in the forest and the initiation of daylight.

It is an excellent story for a young reader to learn the consquence of telling lies and the detrimental affect it can have on individuals and/or communities. It emphasizes how important it is to always tell the truth.